We got back to SBX's house where she and Caroline put all the kids to bed while John and I scored Greek dinner from the Olive Vine down the block. It was 10:30PM by the time we actually put food in our stomachs and all Caroline could talk about was Benjamin's poop. As if, there was nothing else in the world to talk about but how babies take a dump, when they take a dump, the consistency, their regularity, etc. Usually, I don't care about topics like this because I think they can be funny. But, after awhile the subject can become quite tedious. You know what I mean? So, I decided to contribute to the parlay by telling one of my only good shit stories I know; only, I wasn't 3-years old, I was 23-years old, and the shit wasn't coming out of my ass, it was smashing into my chest hair. Follow me?
I was living at the [now legendary] apartment complex, J-51 at SUNY Purchase, with my film/art/music posse. The house only allowed six residents but we had maybe ten or more living with us at any one time. We split the common areas into rooms so that the only real "space" we had to congregate was the kitchen and hall. Every semester, we'd switch rooms around, often getting one guy who we didn't know and would learn to lock his door for fear of "J-51 Posse in Effect!" At that time, we had a chuckleheaded/Jim Morrison wannabe living in the dining room, Blazm had a room, I had a corner room, Larrondo had a space upstairs with Finster, Clak had a corner room, Dave Reider was somewhere, and Blue had half the living room. The other half was divvied up between Raf & Cooly C, and their music savant pal, Joel. Previous roommates included Starsixtynine, and Rob Schmidt. I'm sure there were a bunch of others, and both NiggerKojak and Frank Pledge were familiar guests. It got so crazy that Clak wrote a "Scorched Earth Policy" that we all tried to adhere to. And failed.
One evening, Raf & Cooly decided it would be funny to take a live dump in front of my door jam. For some reason I woke up [gee, I wonder why?], and I busted Cooly C squatting and Raf giggling. I told them to scram and things got bent out of shape. At some point a dare was proposed and we were in the kitchen with Reider and Blazm. Raf and Cooly C were blocking the entrance to the kitchen and Clak came down the steps for a late night glass of milk. They let him in but wouldn't let him, nor us, back out. Blue got wind of the drama and decided to video tape the hostage situation rather than giving a few crippled crabs a crutch, as Reider tried to squeeze out a sphincter puppy. Reider decided he couldn't go through with the offense because every time he tried to push out the shit, his penis wanted to pee first. When you think about it, that's what guys do. Maybe women, too. I dunno, but I think genetically we are programmed to pee first and THEN take a shit. So, every time Reider would warn "I'm poking!" we would step back in horror. Clak was angry, Blazm was laughing, and I was getting fed up with this escapade. Especially, since we were being held against our will to these disgusting hi-jinks. Every time one of us would bum-rush the exit, Raf & Cooly and Reider would block us. Reider was an amateur pugilist and had served in the army. He was psycho. Cooly was/is, and will always remain, a gorilla...for sale. Give him two pieces of stick and something to bang on, and you'll dance to the best drumming this side of Africa. Raf was tall and skinny, so he was the weakest link, but the other two more than made up for Raf's lack of braun. He actually may be the craziest one of them all. Only because he often appears sane. It didn't help that Blue was behind them cackling at us while video taping the entire incident. I have yet to see that video.
Anyway, Reider decided he couldn't go through it and Cooly picked up the gauntlet. I don't know what kind of goof-balls Cooly swallowed that day but he insisted that, if he were going to expose his ass and take a dump on the floor, that all three of us [Blazm, Clak, and I] MUST catch the falling debris. We screamed "No!" but Cooly, Raf, and Reider were not going to let us out of the kitchen unless we complied. I think we all gave in because we knew there was NO FUCKING WAY we were going to REALLY catch Cooly's crap. So, Cooly C squatted, cupped his dick and pressed his abdomen in so he wouldn't pee [the man has wherewithal], and slowly but surely SQUEEZED out a long brown tube of rank mud. All three of our hands underneath his rear as Cooly pushed and pushed. The second we saw that brown head poke out and start to drop, we all pulled our hands out and scrambled to the back of the small kitchen. And that's when things went awry.
Cooly hopped back up into standing position, squeezing shit between his fingers and screaming "Show me your hands! Show them to me!!!" His eyes spun in different directions. I had never seen anything like it.
Clak tried to use the door of the refrigerator as a shield. I tried punching open a wooden panel that once served as a window from the kitchen to the dining room and had been sealed so as to create privacy, and Blazm was in the front playing hopscotch with Cooly's rage. Cooly threatened to throw shit at us if we didn't reveal our hands and prove that we had caught his shit. Blazm showed the palm of his clean hand and SOMEHOW faked Cooly out, convincing him that he had indeed caught crap. Cooly let him slide. I was next. I tried the same tactic, but it didn't fly. Cooly raised his fist and let go a chunk of shit. I dodged the airborne detritus and Clak quickly turned his head, getting smacked in the back of the neck with shit. Luck on my side, I tried to side-step Cooly and escape, but not without Cooly grabbing another sample of doo-doo and tossing it into my chest.
I have chest hair. Chest hair can be like velcro when matched with the right kind of consistency. Dreading the outcome, I looked down at the attack on my chest and found a good portion of shit stuck in-between my chest hairs and clinging to my skin. Little nuggets of moist, brown hatred. I got dizzy. Clak ran passed me and went screaming upstairs to the bathroom. Blazm had already run out the main door and towards the laundry room. Raf & Reider were on the floor crying from laughter, and Blue could barely contain himself as he held his guts from splitting. Cooly still had that twisted look in his eyes. He began to calm down. Suddenly, the smell hit my nose and saliva began to shellac the back of my throat. I was about to vomit.
Dizzy, I stumbled over to the shower while stripping off my pajama bottoms. I turned on the hot water as a long strand of bile laced vomit came from my gut an dangled out of my mouth like a children's park swing. I plucked at the nuggets of shit, washing my chest and feeling numb. I almost passed out but held onto my faculties. After we got cleaned up and punched a few walls, we all congregated by the crime scene as other J-51 members showed up, wondering what had happened. We told our charming versions and, when all was said, done, and forgiven, I noticed something sticking out on the corner of Clak's neck. It was a tiny ball of shit. Like a truffle that you would dip into a fondue pot. Everybody went ballistic and Clak ran back upstairs for a second shower. I barricaded my door and slept with an air-pistol under my pillow for the rest of the semester.
Suffice to say, my Thanksgiving Eve dinner tale didn't go over very well with SBX and her guests. They thought I was inappropriate. I figured, "when in Rome..."
Woke up Thanksgiving Day morning to a sweet kiss and mumble from SBX. She had been woken up in the middle of the night to the cries of Benjamin, who was sleeping between Ola and The Haze, and hadn't gotten enough sleep for the 5-mile Turkey Trot in Prospect Park. She and John sprinted off for the run and The Haze made me get out of bed. I got dressed, hooked the kids up with Macy's truly awful Thanksgiving Day parade on tv so they could spot the balloons they saw the previous evening, and met SBX at the half-way point to snap pix and cheer her on. I went for bagels and coffee supplies and started my very domestic day stacking dishes, cleaning dishes, making dishes, and breathing dishes.
I went upstairs to take a bath and The Haze insisted on getting me bubbles for the tub. I hesitated getting into the tub in all my naked glory as she kept storming through the closed door, handing me bath oils and the like. I played it cool, figuring I'd let her set the comfort level. After all, it was her house. Her bathroom. Her tub. I was just her mom's boyfriend. Besides, SBX walks around her kids buck naked all the time, and so I figured it might be okay to do the same. I wasn't feeling so comfortable doing it, but I let it just go. Left alone, I bathed and got squeaky clean. I went into SBX's bedroom to dry off and put on my clothes when both The Haze and Ola entered the room unannounced, with a metal can, while I was slipping into my boxer briefs. They giggled and sang that they saw me naked, and I tried to laugh it off. They admitted to seeing their father's penis [naturally] and Ola had seen some schoolmates penis when she accidentally walked into the stall of a communal bathroom at school. I didn't feel so bad. The Haze asked if I could open the can, because it was stuck, and I did. There were hair combing items in the can and they went off to their room to make their hair pretty. I told SBX what had happened and she got very angry with me. Berating me that I should have told them to leave immediately and that I should flex better control over situations like that. I felt terrible. Like I had somehow emotionally scarred her children and crossed a damaging line. SBX and I barely discussed the incident as pies needed to made. I peeled apples and made my hands available to any and all preparations. When it came down to it, I just wanted to be accepted into the house. No matter how it needed to be achieved. Yet, still, I need to set boundaries. So charges SBX.
SBX and Caroline went Rambo on the pies as they made: pecan, pumpkin, apple, lemon meringue, and cranberry strudel. Chocolate mud was bought and stored to the side, making SIX pies total. They basted turkey, prepared tofurkey [for the vegetarians], brussel sprouts, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, asparagus, etc.
I went for a quick bike ride around Prospect Park and came back to an Indian family of four [father, mother, daughter, son] that had just arrived for the festivities. The Haze goes to school with the daughter of the Indian clan and they, feeling culturally anemic and shy, had been invited to Thanksgiving Dinner at SBX's behest. They were a nice bunch of folks and I talked to them about Indian spices, caste systems, and arranged marriages. Especially, their arranged marriage. I wondered how that worked and the success ratio. The wife was used to having servants do everything for her in India, and living in America was a shocking wake up call. She wasn't acclimating well to motherhood and domestic life. Heck, neither was I, but I knew what to expect whether I liked it or not. I pointed at SBX and told the Indian woman that, if she thought SHE had it tough, at least she had a husband and came from wealth with a large family to back her up. SBX is a single mother with a taxing career and raises two daughters on her own in a country that yields no aunts or uncles nor grandparents for her two kids. Everybody who is anybody for her resides in her UK homeland. At best, SBX counts on the kindness of her friends, her boyfriend, and Mr. Ex's occasional chore as parent. Otherwise, SBX is the sole, primary care-giver, 24/7/365. This gave the Indian woman some perspective but it probably made her just want to fly back home even more and escape this madness! After sharing some red wine and trading culture fisticuffs, I pegged the father as being a closet homosexual. It had to do with his candor and how badly he wanted to shun his Indian heritage. That, coupled with the arranged marriage and his very gay interests, it was clearly obvious that the Indian caste system doesn't provide proper space for subversive souls. The father had done what was "appropriate," making that word and term even MORE of a curse in my lexicon.
Dinner went swell. We went around the table expressing individual "thanks." I was very thankful for my health, my budding career, the ability to have the tools and tenacity to express myself professionally, and the fact that SBX and her family had entered my life and enriched it with so much loving soil. Dinner turned to dessert and we all got bloated like dead men walking for the slaughter. The Indian's split, happy and with promises to teach us how to cook chicken tikka masala [my favorite Indian dish]. I joked with the mother that we would call a week or two in advance before coming over so that they could fly in some of their servants to cook and clean for us. SBX put her girls to sleep and slipped next to me the couch as the rest of us stared comatose at the golden red lava lamp.
I took a groggy SBX back upstairs to bed and had a small, end of the day discussion about how difficult the day had truly been. What with all the cooking, babysitting, hosting, cleaning, etc., we barely had two minutes to rub between ourselves. Even though we shared the same vicinity, I had missed my girlfriend all day and now we were too exhausted to make love, much less kiss. I told her that I was feeling overwhelmed by familial expectations and becoming a 24-hour slave to young one's perpetual needs was daunting. I was afraid I wouldn't measure. Stressed by my fears and the day, SBX crashed dead asleep. In my heart, I was worried that I had failed SBX. That I had not done all I could. That, an important day like today didn't go as fantasized and maybe I wasn't cut from the right cloth. I want to be here and walk the dog, but I might have to take cautious steps, baby steps, before diving head first, next time. Only, this time next year, I hope to be the champ I claim to be. I know well enough that if I desire it, I will get it. Desire is my faith.
"I walked on ice and never fell."
This time last year I was flying to London, just 3-weeks after our first woo, for a romantic weekend rendezvous with SBX. She called me six times in the Catskills on Thanksgiving [where I was celebrating with my mother] from Paris. We spoke more that day, thousands of miles away from each other, than we did in the confines of her 3-story home this Thanksgiving day. Goes to show: we need to learn from this and split the difference. Go for ours while coming correct. Do the do and make the make.